Dezeen Magazine

Construction starts on David Adjaye's crimson concrete art museum in Texas

The red concrete art museum that British architect David Adjaye designed for the Linda Pace Foundation is now under construction in San Antonio, Texas.

First unveiled in late 2015, the two-storey, 14,000-square-foot (4,300 square metres) building will create a major gallery for the US charity, which boasts a collection of over 800 pieces of contemporary art.

It will feature a striking red concrete exterior, created using panels of red-toned precast concrete that will shimmer in the light, thanks to an aggregate of glass and mica.

David Adjaye's design for Ruby City uses red concrete panels

David Adjaye's design is based on a sketch of a red building made by the late philanthropist and charity founder Linda Pace, after she saw one in her sleep. Called Ruby City, the museum will also feature a jagged roofline and a cantilevered structure.

Construction started on 31 May 2017. It is expected to complete in 2018 to coincide with a year of celebrations for the city's 300th birthday, although it won't officially open to the public before 2019.

According to Rick R Moore, president of the foundation, the building will create a "functional symbol" of San Antonio's ongoing love affair with the arts.

"San Antonio has long been a destination for art aficionados and creators alike, and Linda Pace Foundation was created to bolster that legacy through its collections, programmes and public spaces," he said.

The museum will also feature a jagged roofline and a cantilevered structure

A new series of renderings has been released to accompany the news, revealing more details about the design.

The building's concrete body will be punctured a series of strategically placed windows that offer views out to a a neighbouring park and the San Pedro Creek beyond.

Skylights will be dotted across the building's angular roof, creating dramatic, top-lit galleries inside. There will also be a grand staircase connecting the various exhibition spaces, while a sculpture garden will surround the building.

Linda Pace Foundation by Adjaye Associates
Adjaye first unveiled images of the design in late 2015, but it is now under construction

Ruby City is expected to cost $16 million (£10 million) and will be entirely funded by the foundation.

It is among a series of US commissions for London-based Adjaye, who has just completed one of the most important projects of his career, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC.

The architect – who ranked at number 41 on the inaugural Dezeen Hot List – is also working on a 61-storey skyscraper for New York, the revival of San Francisco's shipyard and a new home for Harlem's Studio Museum, also in New York.

He was just named world's most influential architect by Time magazine.

"When I visited San Antonio in 2007, and met with Linda, we sketched out ideas and together we envisioned a building that would resonate with her dream of the Ruby City," said the architect, speaking back in 2015.

"Like a city, the design offers an organic, heuristic encounter with the Foundation's works and my hope is that it will become a place where artists and the wider community can be inspired to realise their own dreams through a meaningful experience with contemporary art."